Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Match Preview: Southampton vs Hull City

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Championship league leaders look to set a new club record tomorrow night when they welcome Hull City to the St Mary's Stadium.

A victory in tomorrow’s encounter would mean the Saints have won the last 21 games on home soil, a post war record last set by Liverpool in the 1971/72 season.

Southampton currently sit at the top of the Championship with a two point cushion over rivals West Ham in second place, who aim to keep up the pressure on the Reds tomorrow when they travel north to the Riverside to face fellow promotion chasers Middlesbrough.

One absentee that will be missing from tomorrow’s game is midfielder Richard Chaplow, who only lasted seven minutes in last Saturday defeat to Bristol City.

Adkins will be relying on talisman Rickie Lambert to be firing the ball into the net, as the Liverpudlian has been in clinical form in front of goal for the Saints, firing in 12 goals in the 19 appearances he has made in the league this season.

The visitors on the other hand welcome Aaron Mclean back to the squad after serving a one match ban from reaching five yellow cards. The striker is likely to partner hitman Matty Fryatt, who is currently Hull’s top goalscorer with seven goals. However Paul McKenna will miss the trip down to the south coast as he too is serving a one match ban from reaching five yellow cards.

The tigers will be hoping to roar back to a much needed win tomorrow night, after two Matty Fryatt goals were cancelled out by a late attacking onslaught, as Hull let slip a two goal lead to lose 3-2 to Burnley at the KC stadium last weekend.

The previous time these two teams met, Hull ran out 5-0 victors, a result that was one of many impressive displays that took the tigers to the Premier League. In that same season, Southampton narrowly avoided relegation.

However three years on and Saints are in a completely different prospective as they look to secure a second successful promotion to the very top of English football. A 21st straight home win would keep the pressure on rivals Middlesbrough and West Ham, and boss Nigel Adkins is expecting a difficult test.

“It’s going to be a good game. I’ve seen Hull play on four or five occasions now and they play good football, they pass the ball around really well.”

Adkins went onto praise Southampton’s fans for their contribution to the Saint’s recent run of form. "The supporters are right behind us, on Saturday when things weren't quite happening for us, the supporters then tried to lift the players. That happens a lot at St Mary's because they can see that we want to move the ball about and we have scored more goals than anyone else in the division.

Southampton have yet to slip into their ‘rough’ patch and after a shock defeat at Ashton Gate, they will be looking to take three crucial points to remain favourites to be promoted to the big time.

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